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Poster: light into ashes Date: Dec 26, 2012 11:06am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1974 Garcia Interview

I noticed that the interviewer sounds rather hostile to the Dead, so it's he, not Garcia, who's saying that the Dead have been stagnating and lacking in musical growth & musicianship... (One of Garcia's habits is that he'd rarely contradict an interviewer.)
Garcia's point is merely that he feels the bandmembers should "spend more time developing ourselves musically, which is one of the reasons for taking a break," so that could feed into the band's music.
Blues for Allah was a direct result of that - having the band come up with new material in the studio, rather than having Garcia bring in a bunch of songs as they'd been doing (and Garcia is rather sick of).

Overall, it's clear that the main reason for the layoff is not so much musical, but the burden of playing stadiums & lugging around the Wall of Sound, and feeling locked in an economic wheel that was going nowhere & making the shows more unpleasant.

What really struck me was when he says, "When we went to Europe this last time we got into some new directions in improvisation which have been the opening of new, fertile ground." He specifically links that to, "when we play in a place more than one night, it gets subtler and more articulate, and that's the kind of thing that lets you go into new realms."
Notice - he's talking about Europe '74! Not a tour acclaimed for its groundbreaking jams.
I believe he has to be thinking of the jams with Ned Lagin on 9/11 and 9/21 (the 3rd and 2nd nights at those theaters). Those did open the ground for similar jams at Winterland on 10/16 and 10/18.
So this is a very rare example of a bandmember reflecting on the musical highpoints of a particular tour, right after the fact, plus we get to see the seeds of the thinking that led to their next album.

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Poster: jerlouvis Date: Dec 26, 2012 7:06pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1974 Garcia Interview

I also found the reference to the 74' Europe shows particularly interesting.It is a much maligned tour,and while it might not meet August 74' standards it is every bit as good as the ballyhooed Winterland retirement shows the following month.

As for the jammier part of the repertoire the shows were well represented.

9/9- A good Playin' and a nice 6 minute jam out of Truckin'.

9/10- A good Let it Grow,a great Dark Star -> hot 7 minute jam.Kreutzman had a great night.

9/14-A good Let it Grow,decent 19 minute Truckin' with a MLB jam,and a good Eyes.

9/11- Good Playin' and 18 minute Eyes ->nice Stronger Than Dirt jam ->good 8 minute space.

9/18- A very strong show featuring an extraordinary Playin' and a killer 10 minute Caution jam.

9/20-An awful show.

9/21-Good 17 minute Eyes,a killer Seastones with Jerry -> a strong 18 minute Playin' with Ned.

So I can see where Jerry heard some interesting ideas.Considering the somewhat burnt out state of the band,all in all this tour wasn't an abject failure.

On another note LIA,those reviews of the Garcia/Saunders Boston 75' shows were a good read.It's funny to see a line like "back in the days of the Dead" written in November 75',as if the band were finished.Also a couple of nice insights into the bands stage demeanor and set up with Fiero in the middle,just little things like that.You are doing a great job with both the Deadsources and Deadessays sites,and your efforts are appreciated.

This post was modified by jerlouvis on 2012-12-27 03:06:41

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Dec 26, 2012 8:28pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1974 Garcia Interview

We know the band listened to tapes of the Europe tour before playing the Winterland shows.
Some nights were especially poor - like 9/20 was dreadful, and the whole band was distressed with 9/9.

Ned Lagin told the story of the tour to Gans, and mentioned that on "the first night (9/9), the Dead played for a very short period of time, starting late and ending early, because there wasn't the right power equipment. It was really a very frustrating experience for the band...
The second night (9/10) was somewhat longer, and a little better, but everyone was deeply upset about what was going on in terms of preparation... [They were upset enough to have a meeting in which everyone flushed their cocaine.]
For the third show (9/11), it was generally agreed that we would all take LSD, to recoup the good old Grateful Dead. Keith was dosed... [That] was a real high point in my playing with the Dead, one of those times when we were really enjoying each other's musical presence and playing off it. Eyes of the World turned out to be really a great performance. Some people from Pink Floyd and from Apple Records were there to hear what we were doing with computers and electronics..."
From Munich 9/14, Ned mainly just remembers the audience whistling during Seastones.
Of the Dijon 9/18 show, he says "it was a very nice acoustic space, and the audience there was very appreciate and spiritual." He also remembers playing a whole soundcheck set there with the band, with him on electric piano, "one of the better afternoon sets." (Though our soundcheck snippet from that date doesn't seem to reflect that.)
He missed the first Paris show on 9/20, so nothing to say about that.
Then on 9/21, during Seastones "Jerry and Bobby and Billy joined us; the long jam evolved into Playing in the Band, and Keith came out briefly to play during the singing and then left for the entire jam in Playing in the Band. Keith was just resisting the idea that he would come out and join in. After quite a long time playing some wonderful things, we got back close to the tune, and Jerry turned and said under his voice, 'Where's Keith?' ...We started playing the end of the tune; eight bars into it, Keith slid out to the piano. Jerry and Phil were pretty upset with Keith... [But] we were all playing better than ever together. So Jerry told me to stay where I was and play the rest of the night."

He also says he played through most of the Winterland shows, but some of his tracks were damaged or disappeared after the shows.

By the way, I think the comments are where the action's at on the Deadsources site, since I do a running commentary on many points in the articles.

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Poster: jerlouvis Date: Dec 27, 2012 11:24am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1974 Garcia Interview

I've often wondered how Keith felt about Ned sitting in and from your comments about the 9/21 show I'm further in the dark.I also learned Ned is on more stuff from this tour than I thought.His appearance history with the band seems fabled.

You are correct in mentioning the comments section for there is always good information to be had,I have left a few comments and have been meaning to leave a few more.

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Poster: Monte B Cowboy Date: Dec 26, 2012 1:21pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1974 Garcia Interview

Re: 10/16... how about the filming of "Jerry's success sucking" at Winterland on October 16, 1974?